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It’s “allez cusine” for Michelle Obama, who will announce the secret ingredient during her Food Network debut on Iron Chef America, in an episode premiering in January.

The Jan. 3 premiere, which was partially shot in the White House, pits the White House executive chef Cristeta Comerford and Bobby Flay against Mario Batali and Emeril Lagasse.

The secret ingredient will involve anything that grows in the White House garden, reports the New York Times, and Michelle will discuss childhood obesity, farmers’ markets and her Healthy Kids Initiative.

“What’s exciting for us is this is the first time I can remember the White House taking an active interest in doing something about diet and health,” says Mario.

During her segment on the South Lawn, the first lady wore a pumpkin-colored dress, blue shoes and a short sweater.

She pointed out the sweet potatoes, saying, “We are sweet potato lovers, especially the president.”

Back in Kitchen Stadium the judges — Nigella Lawson, Jane Seymour and Dancing with the Stars contestant and Olympic swimmer Natalie Coughlin — had the honor of sampling such presidential bounty.

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